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How Many Calories Can You Burn? Exercises That Burn the Most Calories.

Updated on June 21, 2019
mikejhca profile image

I started using a Fitbit fitness tracker to see what activities burned the most calories.

Per Minute vs Per Week

While using my elliptical trainer I burned 627 calories in 58 minutes. Divide 627 by 58 and it is approximately 10.81 per minute. For most people burning 10 per minute is a good goal. In 50 minutes you could burn 500 calories. Workout for 50 minutes a day and you could lose 1 pound a week. The problem is that burning more calories per minutes significantly increases the difficulty and shortens the duration of the workout. It can also increase the recovery time. Don't just focus on how many calories you can burn per minute. Think about how many you can burn in a week or month.

I was surprised to learn that my difficult elliptical workout only burned about 2 times as many calories as a relaxing nature walk. During my two elliptical workouts a week I would burn around 1,254 calories. Increasing the number of workouts was not an option because it took time to recover between workouts. My daily walk burned 2,247 calories in 7 days. Based on those results walking is better than running or doing intense elliptical workouts. Pick activities that help you burn more energy throughout the week. Workouts that burn the most calories per minute may not be good for burning the most calories in a day, week or month.

(Average Calories Per Minute) * ( Minutes Per Week) = Calories Per Week

Went for a relaxing bike ride and burned 1,126 calories.
Went for a relaxing bike ride and burned 1,126 calories.

Theory vs Practice

There is a difference between theory and practice. You may read that an exercise burns 1,200 calories in an hour but you may only be able to do it for 12 minutes three times a week. Workouts that burn the most calories per minute usually only last 10 to 15 minutes. Some of my workouts last less than 6 minutes. After an intense workout I am often too tired or sore to move. So I go from working out hard to sitting still for a long time.

Will power is not enough to get you to keep working out. You can't rely on it. Pick activities you want to do. The best exercises to help you lose fat are the ones you are actually going to do. Cycling is one of the best exercises for losing inches of belly fat if you like riding a bicycle. An elliptical trainer is good for weight loss if you use it. Try to be realistic. Mentally you need to like the exercise. Physically your body needs to be able to handle the stress.

Your exercise to do list should be in the realm of possibility.

How Many Calories Do I Burn In a Day

I am 5 feet 3 inches tall and weigh around 125 pounds. On an average day when I don't workout I burn around 2,080 calories. Include weight lifting and it increased to 2,245. Going for a daily walk burns an extra 300. On a typical cardio workout day I tend to burn around 3,060 calories, 4,163 if I spend the afternoon at a beach. On my best beach day I burned 5,039 calories. That is 2,959 more than I would have burned if I stayed home and did not workout.

The number of calories burned is based on my Fitbit results. It is not 100% accurate but it gives me a good estimate. Usually I burn most of my calories when I am not exercising. The exception is when I spend most of the day at the beach or doing yard work. When I went for a 75 minute bike ride 14% of the total calories burned that day was from riding my bike. On an exercise day when I was trying to stay active 58% of the total calories burned was from being active.

If I don't bother exercising I burn 2,187 in a day. When I make sure I exercise it is closer to 3,000. During a relaxing exercise day I could burn 5,030 calories.

Ellipticals are good for losing fat if you can get yourself to use it 2 or 3 times a week.
Ellipticals are good for losing fat if you can get yourself to use it 2 or 3 times a week. | Source

Calories Burned

(click column header to sort results)
Exercise  
Per Minute  
Per Day  
Per Week  
elliptical
10
627
1,254
cardio boxing
9
270
810
cycling outside
8
1,126
1,126
weight lifting
8
120
720
motion control sports games
7
390
2,730
walk
5
320
2,240
beach day
5
2,080
2,080
The values are based on my results. I will add more activities as I test them.

How Many Calories Can I Burn In a Week?

After testing a variety of exercises I was surprised to figure out that playing motion control games on the Wii burned the most calories per week while doing the workout. I tested Wii Sports, Will Sports Resort and Tiger Woods Golf. The second best exercise was walking. Increasing the intensity of the workout helps you use up more energy but the results will be limited. How much time you put into it usually matters more than the intensity of the workout. I can burn more calories by increasing the duration or the frequency of the workouts than I can by increasing the intensity.

Biking outside burned the most calories throughout the day. It is one of the best cardio exercises for building muscle and it is a low impact exercise. Building muscles helps you burn more calories by increasing your muscle weight and by giving you the ability to do more during your workouts. If you bike to a park or a beach you could exercise before biking back home. Cycling goes well with other activities like hiking and swimming.

In a week I can burn 14,560 calories while having a sedentary lifestyle. I could do that while watching 4 hours of TV every night and avoiding exercise. If I try to stay active I can burn 20,939 calories in 7 days according to my Fitbit stats. That is 6,379 more because I choose to be active. Enough to lose 1.8 pounds of fat in a week. Your results would depend on how active you are, how much you weigh and the amount of muscle you have.

Went to this beach and burned an extra 2,959 calories according to my Fitbit.
Went to this beach and burned an extra 2,959 calories according to my Fitbit. | Source

How To Burn More Calories

People usually want to lose weight fast by doing exercises that quickly burn calories. Exercises that quickly burn calories can quickly tire you out and cause muscle fatigue. The workouts are short and you can't do them every day. For better results do short intense workouts and longer less intense activities. Short intense workouts are good for getting fit and building muscle. Muscle helps you lose fat. Longer less intense workouts are better for burning more calories during your workouts. You can exercise longer and more frequently.

Pick moderately intense low impact activities that you can do everyday and more intense activities that you can do at least once a week. Workout different muscle so you can exercise more frequently. I was already doing intense cardio workouts and going for daily walks. The best way for me to burn more calories was to add an easy exercise to my routine. I started playing motion control games on the Wii almost every day.

Visceral fat is the hard belly fat that is bad for your health. The best way to get rid of visceral fat is by running, using an elliptical trainer or biking at a fast pace. Do exercises that get your heart pumping fast and get fit. To quickly lose fat and get in shape I recommend cardio strength training. Just remember to include easier exercises so you can spend more time being active. One of the main causes of being overweight is a sedentary lifestyle with very little exercise. Try to have an active lifestyle by sitting less and moving more during your free time.

To burn more calories build muscle and maintain an active lifestyle.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Michael H

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